English champions Leicester break transfer record

LONDON (AFP) – Premier League champions Leicester paid a reported club record fee of �29.7 million ($38 million, 34 million euros) to sign Algeria striker Islam Slimani from Sporting Portugal on Wednesday.

Slimani agreed a five-year contract with Claudio Ranieri s side after scoring 27 times in 33 league games for the Lisbon side last season.

The 28-year-old s arrival shatters Leicester s previous transfer record of �16 million, which they paid for Nigerian striker Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moscow in July.

“To join a team like Leicester City is a huge honour and I can t wait to get started,” Slimani told Leicester s website.

“I ve always wanted to play my football in the Premier League and to get the opportunity to do that with the reigning champions was something I simply could not turn down.

“I saw the amazing success of last season and the passion of the club s supporters. That s something that I m so excited to be a part of.”

Sporting said Leicester would pay an initial �25.5 million, with the fee potentially rising by another �4.2 million.

Slimani will team up with fellow Algerian Riyad Mahrez at the King Power Stadium.

Mahrez was voted Player of the Year after playing a key role in Leicester s fairytale title triumph last season and he convinced Slimani he would benefit from joining Ranieri s squad.

“My friend Riyad Mahrez spoke to me about the club and about the atmosphere the Leicester fans create at King Power Stadium,” Slimani said.

“I will give absolutely everything I have on the pitch for them and for my team-mates and I hope that together we can achieve something special.”

Slimani has represented Algeria at both the 2013 and 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as well as in the 2014 World Cup.

With the help of Mahrez and Slimani, Algeria qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time in their history.